Renewing licenses — and the law of unintended consequences
October 25, 2012 12:00 AM | 1184 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When lawmakers in the state Capitol sift through the thousands of bills from the sublime to the ridiculous they rarely factor in their discussions the law of unintended consequences. Same thing happens in Washington, D.C.

Long after bills are signed into law does the LUC kick in. This past July, many drivers in Georgia were surprised when they attempted to renew their driver’s licenses. What was a quick point and click online is no longer. Federal requirements for the Real ID Act, now require drivers to visit a Department of Driver Services office if they don’t already have DDS secure license marked by a white star in a field of gold in the upper right corner of the license.

Many Georgians haven’t renewed their licenses in many years, so naturally, they were caught by surprise when they had to produce, in person, proof of identity, Social Security card and proof of residence. But there is more. You have to prove your citizenship as well. How? According to the DDS, either with a “valid, unexpired U.S. passport,” an “original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate/amended birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Statistics. Birth certificates issued by hospitals “are not acceptable.”

Lawmakers could have cared less that the consequences of their actions caused backlogs. The LUC hit 475,000 Georgians who have professional licenses — from hair dressers to architects — who now have to provide proof of citizenship when annually renewing their professional licenses. This was enacted by state lawmakers to be sure no illegal immigrant is granted a state license.

According to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, what used to be an easy online process now can take weeks. His agency has been hit hard by the LUC. There are not enough people, due to prior cutbacks, to do the job of answering the almost half million phone calls that have come into his call center this year due to the new requirements.

Why so many professions need a state license is another question worth debating. We can understand why engineers and surveyors need a license, but a librarian or a mixed martial arts fighter?
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hindsightis00
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October 27, 2012
Whether intended or not these consequences should have been anticipated and every new law should show all the costs to implement before passing. Honest citizens are being punished with these new knee jerk laws along with the dishonest. Georgia farmers suffered not having immigrants to pick their crops when Georgia ran them off and now this. If only our politicans had some hindsight we might get somewhere.
Taxed_To_Death
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October 28, 2012
You forgot the 3 things a politician does:

A). Get re-elected.

B). Fatten their wallet.

C). Spend other people's money.

Most everything else is a bump in the road.
Taxed_To_Death
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October 26, 2012
The Driver Services started training its' staff weeks prior to the new requirements. We all know that the DS is broken. So adding more to an already broken department is a perfect setup to more failure.

If you do find a DS worker who cares, those 2-3 people are not in position to fix anything.

The trend continues ... Government is the problem.

And as to the LUC, that is the Government's middle name.
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